Tips for All Businesses

Cut your costs, increase your profits.

You've got a business to run. We've got energy savings tips to help you succeed.


No matter your business, there are opportunities to save on your monthly energy bill. DTE has recommendations on how to lower your expenses on appliances, electronics, HVAC and lighting.

Appliances


Use ENERGY STAR®-certified products
The ENERGY STAR® mark indicates the most energy efficient computers, printers, copiers, televisions, windows, thermostats, ceiling fans, and other appliances and equipment.

Install low-flow aerator
Installing a 1.5 gallons-per-minute low-flow aerator (which costs about $10) on faucets that are on for a total of one hour or more per day will save around $300 per year in energy costs to heat water.

Use ENERGY STAR®-certified refrigerated beverage vending machines
ENERGY STAR®-certified new and rebuilt refrigerated beverage vending machines can save building and business owners more than 1,700 kWh/year, or $150 annually on utility bills. New and rebuilt refrigerated beverage vending machines that have earned the ENERGY STAR® certification are 50% more energy-efficient than standard machine models.

Sources for the above Appliance tips:
energystar.gov and Business Energy Advisor 

 

Electronics


Use equipment power down features
Place computers (CPU, hard drive, etc.) into a low-power "sleep mode" after a designated period of inactivity. You can also purchase a commercial software power management package.

Use timers
To ensure that coffee maker heating elements are not operating during off hours, add a timer to automatically turn the appliance on and off during business hours.

Source for the above Electronics tips: energystar.gov 

 

 

HVAC


Change filters on HVAC systems
Check filters monthly, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool, wasting energy.

Seal and insulate ducts
Ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20% and sometimes more.

Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats are ideal for areas that are unoccupied during set periods of time throughout the week. Rooms that have minimal traffic (stock rooms, warehouses, etc.) should be kept cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer.


Use shading devices
Install interior and exterior shading devices (window film, solar screens, awnings, blinds, etc.) on west-facing and south-facing windows to block heat from sunlight in the summer.

Control heating and cooling
Control all heating and cooling units that serve a common area together so they are not 'fighting' each other (one heating and one cooling the same space at the same time).

Clean ducts
Hold your hand in front of air registers to ensure that there is adequate airflow. If there is little airflow or if dirt and dust are found at the register, have a technician inspect your unit and duct work.

Heating and cooling controls
Turn off or substantially reduce the cooling and/or heating in areas not being used, such as storage and non-public spaces.

Check thermostats for accurate readings
To find out how precise your thermostat is, use an external thermometer and make sure the reading matches your thermostat. Thermostats should be installed on an interior wall away from vents or other sources of draft so they can make accurate readings.

Sources for the above Appliance tips: energystar.gov and Business Energy Advisor

Lighting


CFLs
Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to reduce energy usage. CFLs use 70% less energy and last up to 10 times longer.

Turn off lights
Turn off lights in unoccupied areas and where daylight is sufficient.

Use occupancy sensors
Install automatic, occupancy sensor room-lighting controls to turn lights on and off in frequently unoccupied areas, such as restrooms, copy rooms, supply rooms, warehouses, etc.

Use LED bulbs
Swapping out incandescent bulbs for ENERGY STAR®-certified LED bulbs can keep the temperatures lower because they generate considerably less heat.

Install LED exit signs
LED exit signs can dramatically reduce maintenance by eliminating the need to replace lamps and can save about $10 per sign annually in electricity costs.

Install T8 or T5 fluorescent lighting
Replace old fluorescent and incandescent lighting with T8, or even T5, fixtures, ENERGY STAR®-certified CFLs or LEDs, and other energy-efficient lighting systems that improve light quality and reduce heat gain. CFLs cost about 75 percent less to operate, and last about 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Why are CFLs different?
Most electronic controls, such as electronic timers, photo sensors, motion sensors, touch lamps and remote light controls are designed to work with the simple technology of an incandescent bulb rather than the complex circuitry of a CFL. Electronic controls draw a small amount of electricity to operate that would concurrently run a small amount of electricity through the CFL ballast, placing stress on the electronics. ENERGY STAR®-certified CFLs are made to work on dimmers.

Install light dimmers on CFL and LED bulbs
Dimmers are available for both LEDs and CFLs (ensure that you can use dimmable CFLs). Daylight dimmers are special sensors that automatically dim room lights based on the amount of free and natural daylight available.

Install timers, photo cells or motion sensors on lighting
ENERGY STAR®-certified CFLs and LEDs are now available in a variety of shapes and sizes for any application--including recessed cans, track lighting, table lamps and more. You can even find certified bulbs that are dimmable. Most electronic controls, such as electronic timers, photo sensors, motion sensors, touch lamps and remote light controls are designed to work with the simple technology of an incandescent bulb rather than the complex circuitry of a CFL. Electronic controls draw a small amount of electricity to operate that would concurrently run a small amount of electricity through the CFL ballast, placing stress on the electronics. ENERGY STAR®-certified CFLs are made to work on dimmers.

Use occupancy sensors
Consider installing automatic, occupancy sensor room-lighting controls to turn on and off lights in frequently unoccupied areas, such as bathrooms, copy rooms, supply room, warehouses, etc.

Dimmer Switches
If the light is controlled by a dimmer switch, look for an ENERGY STAR®-certified bulb that is marked "dimmable" because not all are. The package or the manufacturer's web site should provide a list for dimmer compatibility.

Install bi-level light switching
Bi-level light switching allows you to control a lighting system in groups of fixtures or lamps. For example, bi-level switching allows you to turn off half of the lights in a room when full illumination is not required.

Use LED exit signs
Swap old Open/Closed and EXIT signs with LED lighting for additional energy savings.

Install occupancy sensors
Occupancy sensors detect the motion of room occupants, turning off lights in unoccupied areas and turning them back on when movement is detected. Occupancy sensors save energy and also help to reduce maintenance costs. Turning fluorescents off for 12 hours each day can extend their expected calendar life by 75%, to nearly seven years. In large restrooms, ceiling-mounted ultrasonic occupancy sensors detect occupants around partitions and corners.

Source for the above Lighting tips: energystar.gov

 

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